I ate from the table, making sure that my elbows rested,
left hand never rose from my lap,
and that my water glass sip
didn’t crumple the invitation given to me.
It’s all one big chance to win it big,
find your place,
use two euphemisms,
about finding a culture that doesn’t make me feel like an outsider.
See, I’ve never been outside the United States
but I’ve been a guest in more than four states-
examining each spine I come in contact with.
I look at backbones on sale,
placing wagers if I can score one like that,
like hers prepackaged without shipping and handling fees.
You don’t understand,
how misplacement in adulthood
asks the questions: who are you, where are you from,
and will you fit in here?
I look at skin, eye shape, collar bone,
and find myself in a Polly Pocket world
switching between identities, communities,
and grievance of reparations in hopes I will be invited to eat
at this table again.